Dustiny’s Maiden Voyage

As we begin preparation for Dustiny’s THIRD trip to the playa, we’re feeling a little nostalgic. They say you never forget your first time, and in the case of the Mars Rover Art Car’s first trip to the playa, that is very true. Here are some of our favorite photos from Burning Man 2013.

The Captain and the Admiral
9678694957_b7a1fbaed1_oIt took a ridiculous amount of work to get here, and it didn’t even kill their friendship! In fact, the long hours of building, solving problems,¬† sweating, commiserating, and encouraging each other to keep going, created a strong friendship. The Admiral and Captain Everything are best friends for life. And eternally grateful to the rest of the MRAC crew!

Street Legal!9678485427_eb725f64ef_oWell, street legal in Black Rock City anyway! All art cars need to pass inspection and be approved by the Department of Mutant Vehicles. Here’s Dustiny getting licensed for playa-driving, as Motorbike Matt, Captain Everything, and Mama Overlord excitedly look on.

Dustiny9681906206_e3648c7882_oNow you know why she’s called Dustiny.

For Science!9678852769_08a13dd3d2_oThe Rovernauts are gathering samples out in Deep Playa.
Because Science!

Alien Landscape9678687945_c3180ac993_oMotorbike Matt was our main driver during Dustiny’s virgin year out on the playa.

Past Meets Future9678600099_cc7b532a4e_oReconnaissance mission with the Neverwas Haul. We met with their crew and had a Rovernaut Invasion, er… tour, of this beautiful Victorian steampunk house art car.

Inside the Perimeter

The Mars Rover Art Car was invited inside the perimeter so we could broadcast the burn of the Man over the internet! One of our main goals for the trip to BRC with the MRAC was to broadcast back to the default world, just like the Mars Curiosity Rover broadcasts back to Earth from Mars. Being able to do this was an honor and a privilege that we’ll never forget.

Communications Team
9681895948_d92a85b739_oBroadcasting the Burn would not have been possible without this incredible team — Matt and Marc worked technological magic and got us online in a mostly-internetless environment. They kept the equipment running through dust and smoke.
Basically, these guys totally rocked Burn Night.

Burn Night

Matt and Marc keeping the cameras streaming while Rovernauts watch the Man burn. Major Tom standing beside the Rover with his camera. His photos from Burn Night are amazing. And we’ll be posting them soon. Stay tuned!

A Wonderful First Trip to the Playa
9678616979_3cb5c01c69_oThis was not only Dustiny’s first trip to the playa. It was also Mama Overlord’s first trip. The Admiral was thrilled that his amazing wife had such a wonderful time at Burning Man. She is a true Burner. Her enthusiasm is contagious and she also gets huge kudos for putting up with the Rovernaut crew building art at her home for the past 3+ years!


“Cosmos” Premiere Brings Together Science Guys

On March 4, three members of the MRAC crew — Charles White, Rachel Willman, and Justin Wardell — attended the premiere screening of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey” in Los Angeles.

“I saw the Mars Rover Art Car that went to Burning Man, and thought that was cool,” said Dr. Tyson.

Neil Degrasse Tyson and Charles White discuss the Mars Rover Art Car, Cosmos, and Carl Sagan.

Neil Degrasse Tyson and Charles White discuss the Mars Rover Art Car, Cosmos, and Carl Sagan.


Burning Man 2013 Cargo Cult

Part One: The Desert Wizards of Mars bring the Mars Rover Art Car to Burning Man 2013.

Yes, we made it to Burning Man 2013: Cargo Cult!

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of our crew, and the generous support from our fans, we launched to Burning Man as planned. This video, compiled and edited by Admiral Jet Burns, chronicles the first part of the journey to the playa.


Ready to Roll!

Meet Dustiny! The distant cousin of Curiosity.

Meet Dustiny! The distant cousin of Curiosity.

The Mars Rover Art Car is done! 
No more scheduled builds, but there will be a few “hero builds” where a subject matter expert is putting finishing touches on the car.

The final build weekend:

Here's Matt hooking up the wifi system!

Here’s Matt hooking up the wifi system!

The non-robotic arm is installed. And the wheels!

The non-robotic arm is installed. And the wheels!


Pulling an all-nighter to get the MRAC done


Mars Rover Updates

Updates from the MRAC shop!

Over the past several months of the summer, there has been some very hard work done on the Mars Rover Art Car.

Here are a few examples:

Road Test:

On the road again…The Mars Rover Art Car (under heavy construction) is out on a road test. We be a rov’n rov’n rov’n!!!

Mars Rover Being Driven

Mars Rover Being Driven


Say ‘Cheese’ little rover…

Say "Cheese" little rover!

Say “Cheese” little rover!


(Your exclusive sneak peek during the construction of MRAC). Note: This is still under heavy construction and since this photo much has been done.
Including the installation of the LED Television on the front of the car that will play landing videos.

A small strike team of Rovernauts went on an away team mission to the Rental Car Rally from Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon and survived.

Rovernaut Update

Rovernaut Update




dj table at opulent temple white party

Update: MRAC July 2nd 2013

It’s been simply amazing what has transpired this summer. The burn is less then 2 months away now and events are happening. The most recent being the Mars Rover Art Car (MRAC) used as the DJ table / stage for a White party at the Opulent Temple and Steampunk Saloon’s ‘Sacred Dance’.

Mars Rover Art Car as a DJ Table

Mars Rover Art Car as a DJ Table

The blue lights are “silent disco” where the DJ broadcasts the music through the air to the special headsets. The white cones are not ours, but they were setup by the hosts and really gave us that awesome Dancetronaut vibe to which we got a lot of great comments.

Mars Rover Art Car as a DJ Table

Mars Rover Art Car as a DJ Table


Mars Rover White Party Opulent Temple Fundraiser

Mars Rover Art Car Design

PayPal Donation Station…

Mars Rover Art Car from Justin Gunn on Vimeo.


[Click on picture] We are presently working on our Kickstarter funding site to make this happen. We are also applying for some possible grant money for our instruments… BUT… we need some cash now to continue the build. If you are as excited as we are (and that little girl) then please donate through the safe method of PayPal.

THANK YOU! Each person donating will be kept on record for some swag rewards and kickback when our Kickstarter page goes online.